Thursday, September 20, 2012

All That and a Bag of Chips

The title is one of my college roommate's favorite phrases for describing women he found attractive. He also liked to say, "I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers!" High praise indeed.

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge got me thinking about my wife. Here are 333 words:

She is a powerhouse to the rest of the world, a force of nature, a focused and driven accomplisher of feats. She is that to me as well, but she gives to me more than she gives everyone else. To me alone she reveals parts of herself that she protects from the world. She walks in straight lines, and quickly, but I have come along on the slow meanderings, just us, alone. That is part of my love. I am elevated.

This, too, is part of my love, though I cannot make it sound the way it feels in my heart when I become lost in her: the inexpressible ache, the inexorable yearning to wrap her around me, to be thoroughly immersed in her as if she were the earth, the sea, the sky. I want to be so completely inside her that I disappear and she is everything. It is not destruction; it is transformation.

It’s a silly idea of course; I tower above her. I could wrap her up more thoroughly than she could me, at least by all appearances. She’s just a little thing, though certainly voluptuous. Upon meeting her for the first time, the word “ample” might rise to the minds of some, but both her body and her being are more than that. Such a small word, with suggestions of “enough” or even “a bit more than enough,” or “adequate,” “ample” is itself not adequate to describe her.

There are moments when her soft curves become the whole world.

When my son has come to me frustrated and baffled by the incomprehensible machinations of the neighborhood girls, I’ve told him that girls and women are special and magical and it is the role of boys and men to respect them, to honor them. He was dubious, but it’s a message I’ll repeat.  I could add “worship” to that list, too, but he’s not ready to hear that. He will learn it in his own time, if he’s lucky.

Grandparents' Luncheon

The first wave of grandparents came through, nearly as excited as the kindergartners they were visiting, and already we were out of grilled cheese. Volunteers stood around in hair nets, gloves stretched too tight or hanging loose, and aprons like garbage bags. Too much to do and too many people to get it done. A mountain was forming, though, with no one conquering it. Trays covered in tomato sauce. Cups still half full of chocolate milk. Thirty minutes later, I was soaked and splattered, smiling. The mountain was gone. I need an industrial dish washing machine like that at home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Like Norm at Cheers

I've often thought this over the past few years, but I'm feeling it more acutely since school started: Thumper is infinitely more confident and social than I was as a child. I did, and still sometimes do, my best to disappear, to fade away into invisibility, into obscurity. I wanted not to be noticed.

Thumper, however, walks into most rooms like he owns the joint. This morning a teacher, who was not his teacher, gave him an enthusiastic high-five and said, "Hi, [Thumper]! Did you have a good night?" A moment later, a little girl ran up to him and said, "Hi, [Thumper]!" He nonchalantly explained to her dad that she was in his class, and she excitedly told her dad that "this is [Thumper]! He's the funny one!"

I'm not sure where my own social awkwardness came from. Maybe from being the chubby, unathletic little brother of the tough, cool, athletic big brother, though certainly that wasn't his fault and he probably would argue the point, but such are the perceptions of children. I'm doing much better at not hiding these days, but it's still my default reaction. It fills my heart with joy, and hope, and pride, though, to see him make friends, both child and adult, seemingly effortlessly. The eternal hope of parents that their children will achieve more than they did seems almost inevitable with this kid.
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